Skip to main content

Recently, airlines have reported a considerable spike in requests for wheelchairs to get around the airport.  And a good number of those requests are bogus.

Anecdotal evidence from frequent fliers and advocates for people with disabilities suggests more people are taking advantage of the system. CEO of and frequent flier Rick Seaney said he's seen an increase in the number of wheelchairs at the airport.

"I would put it on par with a variety of issues like abusing handicap status for parking, disability," he said. "There are always going to be a few that game the system potentially ruining it for the truly needy."

How bad is it?  Some disability advocates fear that lawmakers could use this to cut back on accommodations for the disabled.

You only need to look at one city to see how serious this is.  In Houston, KTRK-TV reports that Intercontinental and Hobby Airports handle as many as 100 wheelchairs a day--and by one estimate, 15 percent of the requests are fake.  The airlines, who handle wheelchair requests directly, are usually wary about checking to see if the requests are real, citing privacy concerns.  A Houston woman with a special-needs child has one idea--a universal disability pass.  Other countries have it, but we don't.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site